Does Facebook's purchase of Instagram ensure the photo app will come to Windows Phone now?

Does Facebook's purchase of Instagram ensure the photo app will come to Windows Phone now?

Summary: Does Facebook's purchase of Instagram mean there's a chance (after all) that it will be coming to investment partner Microsoft's smartphones?


Instagram is one of those apps that Microsoft's smartphone team seemingly had written off as likely to come to the Windows Phone platform.

In a December 2011 slide deck where the Windows Phone marketing talked about "ring fencing" apps that weren't on the Windows Phone platform -- and backing other comparable apps in their stead -- Instagram was one of those cited.

(Two former Softies developed an Instagram-like app known as Bubblegum a while back, but I've sadly never seen MIcrosoft do a whole lot to promote it. And there are a few other Instagram clones, like InstaCam, in the Windows Phone Marketplace, as well)

With the announcement on April 9 that Facebook intends to buy Instagram for $1 billion, maybe there's renewed hope for Instagram on Windows Phone after all.

Here's the thinking from some Windows Phone backers (that I saw via Twitter): Microsoft owns a 1.6 percent stake in Facebook. Facebook now owns Instagram. So maybe Microsoft can put (a little/a lot) of pressure on Facebook to get Instagram ported to Windows Phone. The photo sharing/filtering app is currently available for iPhone and, recently (and to the chagrin of a number of Apple users), Android phones.

Hmm. Maybe...

Now Microsoft just needs Facebook to buy Zynga, Pandora, Urbanspoon, and a couple hundred more developers who are dragging their feet over porting to Windows Phone....

Topics: Software, Apps, Microsoft, Mobility, Operating Systems, Telcos, Windows, Social Enterprise


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • I had a genuine Polaroid camera...

    So I have no interest in instagram. The only people I've seen that really LOVE Instagram are those that never had to deal with the horrible end result a Polaroid Instamatic created.

    At least the Instagram folks got their pay day.
  • Will Instragram be ported to WP7?

    I would say it is not likely in the near term. It took Instagram years to release an Android app. Why would a WP7 app show up quickly? And I hate to say it (because I think WP7 is a beautiful platform), but Facebook doesn't really care that much about the WP7 platform, since the usage base is so small. Heck, they don't care enough to patch bugs in the Android app, and it has a huge user base.
  • Maybe next year

    I don't expect to see any developers jumping on the WP7 bandwagon when we all know Windows Phone 8 is just around the corner.
    Jeff Kibuule
    • Why not?

      Windows Phone 8 is already confirmed by Microsoft to run Windows Phone 7.x apps just fine. Now's as good a time as any to get started and get a leg up on competition.
  • Why would anyone develop for a dying platform?

    Decreasing share for Windows Phone 7 = Dying.
    Paying developers or porting apps yourself - Dying

    Stick a fork in the Turd!
    • Troll

      @itguy go troll somewhere you haven't yet been. There probably aren't many places left however. Also, get your facts right. WP7 market share is increasing.
  • Perhaps more likely

    but I wouldn't expect it overnight. Just remember that Microsoft bought Skype and we still don't have an official release for Skype on WP. And MS still hasn't used Skype to replace the voice backend for XBox. Both were things I'd have expected fairly quickly.
  • 3rd Party Developers?

    Would it be possible for third-party developers to write some of these apps? Can't they just use the existing web services that the Android version(s) of the apps are using?
  • Why?

    I prefer high quality photos that are easily shared with WP7 anyway. I'm afraid I see no reason for Instagram, just another Pet Rock fad.
  • Depends...

    Facebook's main priority is to start monetizing it's own & Instagram's traffic first. I don't think WP7 will be the first priority unless its user base ramps up (very) quickly.
  • Doesn't matter what facebook's priorities are....

    ...if msft wants to have an instagram app, it will use it's own money to hire devs to work with them to build/port it. So it's just a matter of signing the check, really....
  • MS should be leveraging Xbox more...

    I agree that Microsoft needs to work harder to get "the fundamental apps" that a lot of consumers want. It's not just a practical matter; it's a perception one. So long as Apple & Android can say, "Windows Phone is nice, but it doesn't have such-and-such app"... it makes Microsoft's job of conversion a little bit harder.

    With that said, Microsoft should be leveraging Xbox more by creating exclusive, must-have games for the WP platform that will draw people away from Apple & Android. A must-have game is a great way to create buzz & to lead those consumers (young ones) who must have "the latest & greatest."

    Microsoft is on the right track, but more can be done. The Lumia 900 is a big help, but it's not enough by itself. When Windows Phone 8 launches, Microsoft needs to be ready to deliver... once and for all.